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3 common resume mistakes -- and solutions -- for veterans

14th September 2023

At Military To Corp-M2C, we constantly exchange feedback with the Talent Acquisition Managers of our client companies to know what works and what doesn't. When this feedback of so many years collected, collated and analysed, some patterns have emerged that have valuable inferences for military resume.

The analysis brought out the common concerns and shared reasons for rejection of resumes by most of these companies, though looking to hire. There have been times when well qualified and apt military candidates were rejected in spite of having the required hard and soft skills for the roles. Have you ever wondered why the resume of your colleague or someone you know similar in profile is selected and yours is not?


Here are the three most common mistakes in military resumes and how you can avoid them:


1.Military Resume lacks Keywords- Recruiters Look for them

One of the most common reasons for the rejection of military resumes is that they are missing upon the keywords for which the recruiters are hiring. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for a job opening. Each job opening has a few key skills for which the recruiters are hiring. Hard-pressed upon time to shortlist right CVs from the scores of resumes, recruiters’ eyeballs constantly search for key skills or keywords, given in the job description. Many MNCs use ATS or internet job boards such as Naukri, Monster, LinkedIn etc to shortlist only those resumes that show-up on top of their job search. These searches are made with the help of these job-essential key skills and keywords only. The presence or absence of key skills could be your make or break chance for being called for an interview.

How to get right keywords in your resume

  • While some keywords are general, many of them are industry and job specific.
  • A particular job description typically conveys what is the position, specific experience, skills and education desired from a candidate.
  • A number of job descriptions (they can be searched on various job portals) for the same position will have a number of common keywords which can be used in the content of a resume.
  • Inclusion of these common keywords in your resume will convey that your experience is relevant to the job, and increase your chances of success during resume screening.


For example, if you go through a number of JDs for Project Manager roles for a variety of industries such as Banking, IT/Tech, Consulting etc (or whichever industries you are keen to apply), there would be a few common keywords used in all of them. Bring all those common keywords and key skills in your resume and upload that resume on the job portals such as Naukri, LinkedIn, Military To Corp-M2C. This way you maximise your chances of resume shortlisting for a number of industries rather than only one.

2. Resume Left Open Ended- Lacks Quantification

In corporate, You are recognized by your work such as what growth was achieved by you or what were the results with your involvement and most of these results are shown with numbers and percentages. Whereas in the military, you rarely quantify your work even though there is always scope to do so. By not highlighting the results in figures, you leave the work accomplishment open-ended and very generic in nature, thereby minimizing the chances for it to be shortlisted for an interview call.


Let's see this with examples:

  • Every military training increases operational efficiency and the same improvement can also be quantified.
  • Every weapon training including firing conducted by an individual or by a team would have improved the operational effectiveness by a few percentages.
  • Similarly, every innovation or implementation of a new procedure that saved human effort or that made cost-cutting can be quantified to an approximate number and percentage.
  • Every equipment you handled has a cost to it.
  • Every work you have accomplished has a budget to it (Profit & Loss or P & L)


3. Cut, Copy, and Paste- The Resume Sound Too Generic & Boring

Many times we have seen the tendency that retiring ones ask for the resume from other veterans who have retired in the past and are working in corporate, thinking that the same resume will communicate about them also. The resume is all about highlighting your past experiences and your accomplishments and soft-hard skills in an effective and successful manner. A resume conveys about an individual’s personality who has unique skill sets based on his or her personality, knowledge and experience, which no two people can have the same.


The traditional method of cut, copy, and paste does more harm to your chances of shortlist for a particular opening. Even if a very professionally written attractive but copied resume is able to fetch an interview; chances are very high that one will not get through in the interview. The recruiters are professionals and they can see through a resume. Also, A copied resume generally reflects that the person shies away from work and adopts easier methods or shortcuts.

At M2C, we advise every military job seeker, especially those who are about to retire or recently retire to genuinely invest time and effort in creating strong and job compelling resumes and aligning them with the JD every time they apply for a new role.

Happy Career!

Team M2C



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